Self Determination Theory (SDT) is a macro-theory of human motivation, emotion, and development that has been applied in diverse areas including education, healthcare, relationships, and more. According to SDT, students have basic psychological needs for 1) autonomy, defined by behaviors that are volitional and self-endorsed; 2) competence, defined as feeling capable of meeting challenges; and 3) relatedness, defined as internalization of practices and values by those with whom they feel connected, such as professors and peer leaders. A greater sense of autonomy is associated with motivation that is more internal than external along the spectrum of intrinsic, identified, introjected, and external motivation. Students in six classes (Principles of Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry I and II, Human Anatomy/Physiology I and II) were given a relative autonomy index and survey on classroom performance, major, and perceived effort. Statistical analysis of results will be shared and attendees will discuss the nature of student motivation in their classes and how study behaviors might be linked to perceived relative autonomy. Potential design studies and existing survey tools will be discussed and shared with any attendees interested in designing similar studies using SDT.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/diana-sturges/47/